Don’t fear the shears!

cutting your own hair is tricky at best. Results can range from utter horror to sheer joyfulness.
However, once you can master a few basic steps, you can mostly feel joyful about the results of your self-haircuts.
The first time I cut my hair, it was on a whim. I was bored and impulsively took the first pair of scissors I could find to my long, beyond shoulder-length hair. The results were shocking, to say the least, as one side of my hair was jarringly shorter than the other. Miserably, I had to sacrifice much more hair than I wanted in order to have my hair at an even length. I was devastated by the results and it was a long time before I attempted to cut my hair again.
I also have never attempted to cut my own hair when it has been short — I am too afraid that making the wrong cut will not be so easy to hide. But Leanne’s guide on how to cut short hair has left me feeling confident that I can do it well if I decide to have short hair again.

How to cut long, straight hair

1 Wash your hair first and comb it with a fine-toothed comb.

2 Choose a pair of scissors that are very sharp.

3 Start at the front on the right side and stop at the back of your head. Then start again from the front on the left side, measuring where you needed to cut against the right side that was already cut.

How to cut a short bob

1 Comb your hair first but then fluff it out to see where it naturally wants to lie. Unless you plan to always blow it dry or use a product, make sure it’s in its natural state.

2 Run your hands through it to feel for the natural shape of your scalp. I use mine as a guide to know where to start cutting. You’ll want to start cutting where your scalp begins to slope inward toward your neck.

3 When you’re ready to start cutting, run your hands over the back of your head again but this time gently make a fist while angling your hand away from your hair. You’ll gather a section of hair. Start by cutting a chunk off holding your scissors pointing towards the floor. Start slow and leave a wide margin for error — don’t try to go for your desired length right away.

4 Cut your layers in a “V” pattern. The point of the V is your starting point and the arms of the V slope down towards your chin. Only trim the outside layer each time, if you cut too deep it risks looking choppy.

5 Once you’ve got the general shape cut, you can fluff your hair out again to see if you’ve missed any thing. I like my hair to be a little messy, so I throw in some irregularities here and there.

6 Have a friend clean up the back. Even if you have a couple mirrors you can rig up to be able to see the back of your head, there’s always something you can miss.

7 Try things out! The only way you’ll discover what looks good is by living with the results for a while. Notice how your hair looks when you haven’t just brushed it. Unless you’re interested in using a bunch of different goops and/or apparatuses, don’t expect it to stay perfect all day. Work with what it wants to do instead, it can be a lot more rewarding than fighting with it all the time.

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